Surgeon activity in robotic versus abdominal gynecologic surgery

Sarah A. Collins, David M. O'Sullivan, Paul K. Tulikangas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


One proposed advantage of robotic surgery is improved ergonomics and decreased surgeon fatigue. The objective of this study is to quantify and compare the physical activity of surgeons during robotic and abdominal surgery using accelerometers. Eight gynecologic surgeons who perform both abdominal and robotic surgery were the subjects of this study. Each wore an accelerometer on the hip during one procedure performed abdominally and during a similar procedure performed robotically. Activity parameters analyzed were average activity counts (AAC) and percentage of time spent in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous activity. The paired t-test was used to evaluate differences between robotic and abdominal procedures. AAC was similar between the robotic and abdominal approaches (mean ± SD: 83. 9 ± 50. 9 versus 79. 1 ± 37. 8 counts/min, respectively, P = 0. 820). The majority of activity spent in robotic and abdominal surgery was sedentary (79. 0% ± 5. 9% versus 80. 9% ± 8. 6%, respectively; P = 0. 625) followed by light activity (14. 7% ± 3. 9% versus 12. 8% ± 6. 1%, respectively; P = 0. 541) and then by moderate activity (6. 3% ± 3. 4% versus 6. 3% ± 2. 8%, respectively; P = 0. 981). None of the activity for either surgical approach qualified as vigorous. There were no differences in activity parameters by surgical approach. Accelerometer data demonstrate that surgeon activity expenditure is similar in robotic and abdominal surgery. Future studies comparing measures of physical activity and strain between surgical approaches are needed to determine whether the robot's improved ergonomics translates to improved surgeon experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-336
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Ergonomics
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Physical activity
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Surgeon activity in robotic versus abdominal gynecologic surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this